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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:30 January 12, 2018

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.


Banning cryptocurrency exchanges needs more consultations: finance minister

SEJONG -- Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Friday that relevant ministries need to hold more consultations over the justice ministry's plan to ban cryptocurrency exchanges, but the government will continue to take actions against speculative investment in virtual coins.

The remarks by Kim came a day after Justice Minister Park Sang-ki told reporters that the ministry is preparing for a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges at home.


Output, consumption signal economic recovery to continue in coming months

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is expected to maintain its current recovery pace in the coming months as industrial output, consumption and facility investment rebound, a government report said Friday.

However, a weaker job market and ongoing trade issues are likely to continue to weigh on the nation's economy, the finance ministry said in its monthly economy assessment report.


S. Korea qualifies for figure skating team event at PyeongChang Olympics

SEOUL -- Host South Korea has earned a spot in figure skating's team event at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The International Skating Union (ISU) finalized the list of 10 qualified nations on Friday. For the team event, countries must be inside the top 10 in the ISU's qualification points and also must have qualified in three of the other four individual events -- pairs, ice dance, men's singles and women's singles.


Abe rejects S. Korea's latest stance on sex slavery deal

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that he cannot accept South Korean government's announcement that the issue of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women has not been resolved through a controversial deal reached in 2015, a local news report said.

Kyodo News quoted Abe as saying during a meeting with reporters that the deal is a government-to-government agreement and that Seoul's latest stance on the accord can never be accepted.


Four newborns died of blood poisoning: police

SEOUL -- The successive deaths of four newborns at a hospital's intensive care unit last month were caused by blood poisoning from a bacterial infection, police said Friday.

Blood tests on the infants showed that all of them were infected with Citrobacter freundii, which can cause fatal symptoms in immunocompromised patients, including premature babies, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said, quoting the final autopsy result from the National Forensic Service (NFS).


Trump suggests 'good relationship' with N.K. leader, signaling more efforts on diplomacy

SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump hinted that he has developed a "good relationship" with North Korea's leader in an interview Thursday with a foreign media outlet, raising expectations that he could pursue more diplomacy in dealing with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threats.

"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un," Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). "I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised."


Jeju airport begins transporting passengers stranded due to heavy snow

JEJU ISLAND/SEOUL -- The airport on the country's resort island of Jeju resumed operations and began transporting over 7,000 passengers who have been stranded after a series of shutdowns caused by heavy snowfall the previous day, the government said.

The first flight bound for Gimpo, in western Seoul, took off from Jeju International Airport at 7:30 a.m., after the airport partially completed shoveling the snow and ice from the airstrips early in the morning, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.


N.K.'s art troupe set to take stage in S. Korea for rare performance

SEOUL -- A rare performance by a North Korean art troupe will take place soon on the southern side of the tense inter-Korean border amid a mixed sense of curiosity and doubt over the North's intent, watchers said Friday.

After inter-Korean high-level talks Tuesday, North Korea agreed to send a delegation of athletes, cheerleaders, an art troupe, taekwondo demonstration teams, along with high-ranking officials, to the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang Olympics in the South.


(Yonhap Feature) Job loss follows minimum wage increase

SEOUL -- Lee Hyun-min, a 38-year-old chain restaurant owner in Seoul, installed a self-service kiosk and let two part-time workers go last month, in a preemptive measure to cope with a minimum wage increase.

South Korea's minimum wage rose by 16 percent to 7,530 won (US$7) starting from Jan. 1, the biggest jump in about two decades. The hike has sparked backlash from small and medium-sized firms and mom-and-pop stores that can ill afford the extra outlay.


(PyeongChang Prospects) Converted short tracker seeks 1st Olympic medal in speed skating

SEOUL -- Once a struggling short track speed skater, Kim Bo-reum has carved out a successful niche in speed skating's mass start -- a relatively new event with a twist.

The mass start will make its Winter Olympics debut at PyeongChang 2018 next month, and Kim, skating on home ice, will be among the medal contenders there.

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